If you take a look at Surrey, you see a growing, inclusive and beautiful city. Under the surface, Surrey is advancing in many ways, one of them being sustainability. With the threat of climate change, Surrey is taking charge, innovating and creating so many new ways to better both the environment, and daily life. Surrey is not only the future hub of British Columbia, but a leader in sustainability, and becoming a thriving, green, inclusive city.
Just how is Surrey one of the biggest leaders in Canada for green initiatives and sustainability? Let’s start with what their definition of sustainability is. The three pillars include social, environmental, and economic development. These three main ideas are then broken down into 8 overlapping themes, to then work towards and accomplish over the next 40 years. Some of these themes include Public Safety, Ecosystems, and Infrastructure.
The city’s Community Climate Action Strategy approaches many facets of facing and adapting to climate change. The overarching goal is for reducing emissions and adapting to the inevitability of climate change. This strategy is part of the Community Climate Action Strategy. It specifically focuses on how the city is vulnerable to climate change, and what changes can be made to protect the people and environment from the brunt of the damage. It lists possible changes, and what can be done to combat those changes. It is a great step in acknowledging the issue, and having steps in place to help prevent and adapt to these issues.
Just this past March, Surrey won the 2018 Canadian Association Municipal Administrators (CAMA) Award for Innovation. What for? Surrey’s Biofuel Facility turns residential and commercial organic waste into renewable natural gas. This eliminates Surrey’s corporate carbon footprint of 17,000 tonnes per year!
Surrey also has a program in place to supply renewable energy for the city. Surrey City Energy provides a sustainable energy system for residential, commercial and institutional buildings. These include heat and hot water, made possible by district energy, fueled by renewable energy sources, like natural gas. Eventually, the goal is to move towards things like organic waste, solar energy, and waste heat from buildings, industry, and waste water.